Follow by Email

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Word Count

Word count is probably something readers don't pay much attention to, other than wishing a book was longer because they enjoyed the characters and/or plot or wishing it was shorter because the author digressed too much.

I have been fortunate with the Black Swamp Mysteries series and many of my stand-alones because I've been given the freedom to tell the story without being overly concerned about the word count. But last year I began writing for a different venue in which word count was critical; I was told it could be as short as 65,000 words but absolutely no longer than 85,000 words.

The result: I found I've been tightening my writing and the readers are enjoying it.

My previous books had ranged from 70,000 words to around 120,000. While no one complained about the lengthier book, shorter books are less expensive to produce and take up less inventory space (my publishers have thus far all been traditional, not print-on-demand.) Writing shorter books also allowed me to write three novels last year, as the average length for each was around 80,000 words.

Do you often wish a book was longer? Or do you wish sometimes the author had tightened things up so it was shorter and easier to read?


2 comments:

onespoiledcat said...

It's true that when you're limited to a max word count you have to tighten things up which in turn usually means less "fluff" and more action! I have read books though that I felt could easily have supported more length - mostly because they were just so well done it was difficult to accept it was over!

Pam

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment, Pam. You have a very good point. I just finished a novella that could easily have been lengthened. I loved the characters and the plot, and was disappointed it ended so quickly. But then, that's a sign of a good writer, also. :)